Veebeam: Wireless USB set-top media magic

By Jack Ratcliffe,

Veebeam have come up with a novel idea to play content from your computer on your television. Instead of streaming individual files over your local area network (like almost every other media set-top box in the world), it simply sends your entire desktop.

That’s right – rather than worrying about codecs and file formats, Veebeam decided to skip the complex bit. Instead, it just take your computer’s video and sound output and send them via Wireless USB to a set top box, plugged into your home media set-up. And it’ll do it in 1080p HD, too.

veebeam

This means that it’ll be the most compatible set-top box in the world. It’ll play BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and all your illegal movie streaming sites, as well as downloaded video and personal photos. Anything your computer can display will be faithfully reproduced on the TV.

The software features two modes, “Screencasting'”, for sharing websites or photos, and “Play-To” mode, which should allow you to send video to the Veebeam while still being able to use the computer for more sensible, less-media interested purposes.

While this sounds like an extremely promising proposition, the problem is with Wireless USB. The technology, with a maximum bandwidth of 480Mbit/s at three metres, hasn’t really lived up to its billing in consumer appliances.

With that kind of bandwidth, it should be able to send up to 30 HD video streams at the same time. As Engadget has shown, however, previous Wireless USB devices have struggled at pushing 720p across a living room.

We’d wait for a review before purchase, although prices start at an almost-worth-the-gamble £99.